Teucrium fruticans – Tree Germander

This is Teucrium fruticans or the Tree Germander.  It has downy grey-green, aromatic foliage with the palest blue/lilac flowers sporting big show-off stamen.  We have several of these plants included in the Med Bed, conveniently it actually hales from the mediterranean (unlike the majority of Med Bed residents) and it enjoys the well-drained sunny position.  Its habit is a little unruly and can easily become 12ft of lolloping branches, so might not be ideal for the tidy gardener.  We chop these specimens back hard in the spring with no mercy, they soon recover to make tidy plants for the summer.  This particular plant is a rogue living close to the potting shed and is allowed to express itself however it wants as long as it doesn’t get in the way when we want to fill the kettle.  It has heroically flowered all through the winter.  This is probably because the name teucrium comes from Homer’s Iliad; Teucer was a great archer, half-brother to Ajax and founder of the town of Salamis on the island of Cyprus.   Fruticans means shrubby.  It can’t all be exciting.

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